The work week began with bitter cold, blowing snow flurries and gusty winds that dropped the wind chill into single digits across metro Atlanta and brought snow as far south as coastal Georgia.
Those winds, gusting to more than 30 mph, blew a few trees onto power lines, leaving more than 2,000 metro homes without electricity as temperatures plummeted into the low 20s.
And the worst of the frigid weather is still to come, as lows Monday night are expected to drop into the mid-teens.
A wind advisory is in effect for much of Georgia through 7 p.m. Monday, calling for northwest winds of 20 to 25 mph, gusting to over 35 mph.
Those strong winds left 1,200 Georgia Electric Membership Corporation customers in Gwinnett County in the dark overnight. Company spokeswoman Terri Statham said power had been restored to those customers by 6:15 a.m. Monday.
A Georgia Power spokesman said 738 of their customers statewide were without power at 6 a.m., with most of those -- 580 -- in the Duluth area.
Predawn temperatures ranged from 19 in Canton and Lawrenceville to 21 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Wind chills were mostly around 4 or 5 degrees.
Temperatures remained in the teens and low 20s at 10 a.m., with light snow still falling in Marietta, Kennesaw and Canton and flurries reported by the National Weather Service as far south as St. Simons Island.
The subfreezing temperatures left numerous icy patches on the roadways.
The WSB Radio Traffic Center reported ice on U.S. 78 between West Park Place and Memorial Drive in DeKalb County, on South Cobb Drive at Atlanta Road and John Ward Road at Dallas Highway in Cobb County, and on Ga. 369 and Ga. 92 in Cherokee County.
In Sandy Springs, a tree was down on wires on New Northside Drive just south of Powers Ferry Road.
Andy Kives drove from McDonough to Blairsville Monday morning, and reported icy conditions on Ga. 515 from Jasper northward.
"Things got really difficult beginning in Ellijay as most of 515 had not been sanded yet," Kives told the AJC in an e-mail. "I basically ran 25-35 mph all the way to Blairsville to get to my business."
WSB-TV reported that about a dozen school systems in extreme North Georgia called off classes for Monday, but no metro Atlanta schools were closed. Gilmer County schools will again be closed Tuesday.
A power outage near Roswell left part of Mountain Park Elementary School without electricity. A school spokeswoman told the AJC that classes were being held, with students being kept in the school's media center, cafeteria and gymnasium, which had heat.
The harsh overnight weather also made conditions brutal for Cobb County firefighters battling a large house fire off Dallas Highway. No injuries were reported in the fire, which broke out around midnight at a home on Ellis Farm Drive at John Ward Road.
The forecast for metro Atlanta calls for gradual clearing during the day on Monday, but with highs of only 31 degrees and winds gusting to 35 mph.
Monday night will be mostly clear and cold, with lows by daybreak Tuesday in the mid-teens and northwest winds around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Those lows could set a record for the date in Atlanta, as the previous record for Dec. 14 is 15, set in 1917.
Tuesday will be sunny but continued cold, with highs in the mid-30s and lows Tuesday night in the upper teens.
Wednesday, there's a 20 percent chance of rain after 1 p.m. Highs will be in the low 40s.
Forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance of rain Wednesday night, with the rain possibly mixed with snow as lows drop to around 32 degrees.
About the Author